Roasted Poblano Pesto and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

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I was craving an upgrade to the quesadillas my kids are constantly requesting. Even better if I could find a recipe that could be a meal, a snack or even an appetizer. This is it. For a heartier version, add cooked chicken breast to the quesadillas.  To serve to a crowd, ditch the tortillas and layer the pesto in a shallow baking dish and dot the top with goat cheese. Bake in the oven until bubbly and serve with tortilla chips.

This lovely pesto has a nutty flavor from the pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) and a burst of freshness from cilantro and green onions with just a hint of heat from the roasted poblano pepper.

And the very best part? This recipe can be sourced locally here in Yakima from the peppers to the tortillas to the cheese. For a complete meal, cook up a big pot of pinto beans and throw together these quesadillas. Everyone comes to the table eagerly and leaves happy. What an ode to Yakima.

Goat Cheese: Tieton Farm and Creamery

Poblano Peppers: Krueger Pepper Gardens

Tortillas: Ruben’s Tortilleria Bakery

Green Onions, Garlic, Cilantro: Yakima Farmers Market

Roasted Poblano Pesto and Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Pesto:

  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • splash of water

Quesadillas:

  • poblano pesto
  • 12 ounces goat cheese
  • 24 corn tortillas

To make the pesto: start by charring the chile over a gas flame or under a broiler until it is blackened and charred on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the chile to steam while it cooks. After it cools, peel, seed and stem the chile.

In a food processor, combine the chile, pepitas, cilantro, garlic, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Add a splash of water to thin the pesto and help the ingredients congeal. Taste and season as needed.

 

To make the quesadillas: Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Warm the corn tortillas until they are warm and soft. Remove from heat, spread with goat cheese and pesto and top with another tortilla. Return the quesadilla to the griddle and cook until the tortilla is crisp and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and cut into quarters. Serve immediately.

For more great food and a taste of the Yakima Valley, visit Rooted for more.

 

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